One hundred students graduated from the Caribbean Maritime Institute on Thursday, November 12 in a ceremony held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding was the guest speaker and used the opportunity to challenge the graduates to assume positions of excellence in their endeavours. He noted that that would assist greatly in the development process of the nation. In congratulating the graduands, the PM noted that through their expected contributions, the country would greatly benefit in the maritime industry.

The Prime Minister highlighted the fact that the Institution had evolved into a cosmopolitan one, noting that students were at the Institution from as far away as Suriname. He said the CMI is the premier institution of its type in the region and as such the government will do all it can to support it. Since the inception of the school, over 2,000 students have graduated. Another area of performance that impressed the PM was the diversification taking place at the CMI.

“I am particularly impressed by the fact that the institution has moved beyond granting certificates to the point now where Bachelors and Masters degrees are now being offered,” he continued.

Turning to the matter of exports, Prime Minister Golding said he did not share the view that persons who having been trained here and decide to go abroad to work were unpatriotic. He said that such persons who go abroad to work are usually employed in a sector which has need for them and they help the economy by remitting funds back to Jamaica which in turn helps the economy.

Seven awards to special honourees were made to persons who have been long time allies of the CMI. These persons were: Mrs. Lenice Barnett, Executive Director of the Students’ Loan Bureau; Mr. Rafael Diaz, former Chairman, Jamaica Maritime Institute’s Trust Fund; Mr. David Harding, Chairman, Barbados Port Inc; Hon. Noel Hylton, Chairman and CEO of the Port Authority of Jamaica; Mr. Fernando Rivera, former President, Caribbean Shipping Association; Mrs. Corah Ann Roberston-Sylvester, First female President, Caribbean Shipping Association and Mr. Everton Walters, General Manger, Barbados Port Inc.

Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry handed out the awards to the honourees.

The CMI offers courses in marine engineering, and navigation. All syllabi for the professional seafarers programmes are in full accordance with the standards of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Since 1994, the Institute started offering land based programmes with the Diploma in International Shipping and Logistics (DISL) and the Associate Degree in Industrial Systems, Operations and Maintenance. Since September, 2007, the land based programmes were upgraded to that of Bachelors of Science status.